download Dynamo: The Book of Secrets: Learn 30 mind-blowing illusions to amaze His hit TV show Magician Impossible has enthralled over million viewers. His TV series Dynamo: Magician Impossible broke all viewing records for UKTV channel . This book really is about proving to you that nothing is impossible. Read Nothing is Impossible book reviews & author details and more at site. in. His TV series Dynamo: Magician Impossible has broken all viewing records .
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Editorial Reviews. About the Author. Dynamo grew up on the notorious Delph Hill housing Dynamo: The Book of Secrets: Learn 30 mind-blowing illusions to amaze your. Dynamo: The Book of Secrets: Learn 30 mind-blowing illusions to. Nothing Is Impossible: My Story [Dynamo] on portal7.info *FREE* shipping on I read every book I could get my hands on and practised and practised. In that moment Dynamo was born: the most exciting magician of the 21st century. This was a great book about Dynamo who is a successful magician and his climb to Dynamo; Nothing Is Impossible, is the best autobiography I've ever read;.
But the darkest of times can be the most enlightening, and in the case of Steven Frayne from a rundown estate in Bradford this couldn't be truer. When his late granddad showed him magic for the first time, Steven knew there was more to life than hiding from bullies. He had a destiny. A calling. In that moment Dynamo was born: the most exciting magician of the 21st century. Since then, Dynamo has shocked, thrilled, and amazed men, women, and children, from all walks of life, all over the world. With his mind-blowing illusions, he has catalyzed a whole new era of magic.
Every teenager should read this book to realise that you are the master of your own destiny and that you do not have to conform to the normal worldly expectations when choosing a career, but should choose something that inspires and motivates you.
After reading this book I have again watched some of the epis When I saw this book was available I immediately downloadd it. After reading this book I have again watched some of the episodes of Magician Impossible and somehow have a better understanding of who Dynamo is, where he came from and where he's going.
Definitely a good read, even more so if you are an avid fan. Apr 26, Becca Cook rated it really liked it Shelves: Probably the best autobiography I've ever read. It was easy to read but his journey is very inspiring and it was very interesting! May 19, Dane Cobain rated it really liked it. Nothing is Impossible is the autobiography of a Bradford lad called Stephen Frayne, a guy who was badly bullied as a kid and who managed to turn it in to something positive.
Celebrity autobiographies are usually vacuous and faintly depressing, and they reek of ghost-writing and a lack of talent — here, Dynamo rewards the Dynamites, his dedicated followers, with something a little different. A little special. A little magical. Mar 25, Josh. S rated it really liked it. His real name is Steven he was taught magic by his grandpa while he was being bullied. His father left his mother when he was young. He was looked after mainly by his mother. Magic was his freedom it took him to another world.
When he was older he started performing in small pubs and things. He did this with a bunch of friends they all had jobs and they cut the money equally. After doing this for a while he was recognised and went to functions were he met some of his favourite role models. He has performed to people like Snoop dog, Lady Gaga, One direction and many more. Very good book I read this because at the time I was practising card tricks. Aug 01, Olivia rated it it was amazing.
I was truly astounded when I first saw the show and it brings me so much joy and delight every time I see him perform. Steven Frayne really is a gift to the world, and fans of the TV show will really benefit from reading this fantastically written book.
Nov 08, -Sakura- rated it it was amazing. Dynamo is an amazing magician who has an extremely interesting and at points very sad past. This book was so inspiring and I have read it multiple times! It's one of those books that every time you pick it up you end up feeling motivated and inspired. Dynamos story was also deeply moving and made me feel so sad at times and just wanted to give him a hug! I loved how real this book was which is so ironic since magic is all about defying the impossible.
Dynamo wrote this book fabulously and really Dynamo is an amazing magician who has an extremely interesting and at points very sad past.
Dynamo wrote this book fabulously and really made an impact on me after I read this book. Honestly one of the bests autobiographies I have ever read! I would definitely recommend this book to magic fans and also anyone really. You don't need to know Dynamo and his magic in order to understand this autobiography.
Oct 17, Carla Monsoon rated it it was amazing. Steven frayne aka Dynamo is a true inspiration and is a trusted role model for kids today! Well written book, keeps you wanting to read more and fast!
Gives insight into how and why he started his brand of magic, his relationship with his family, especially his beloved, late gramps. Would love to meet this incredibly talented and disciplined man, his magic leads the way throughout the world and I'm so proud he is British!
We do have stars here and we do have a lot of talent, shame it takes so long Steven frayne aka Dynamo is a true inspiration and is a trusted role model for kids today! We do have stars here and we do have a lot of talent, shame it takes so long for this country to recognise and appreciate it.
Well done Dynamo, you have made me realise that the impossible is actually possible x Jan 18, Rohini Rathour rated it really liked it. If you are a fan of Dynamo, you will love this book. An autobiography, it is written in an easy conversational style which makes it a very easy read. I found the first chapter and the epilogue particularly moving. You get a real sense of the journey Steven Frayne has made to becoming Dynamo, the magician impossible.
It is true that it takes years of hard work and determination to become an "overnight success". He is an amazing young man and an inspiration to us all. Reading his story makes his m If you are a fan of Dynamo, you will love this book. Reading his story makes his magic all the more special. No magic recipe for success. In many ways tis is a typical celebrity autobiography: There are some differences however.
Ultimately,though, Dynamo keeps the reader at arm's s length, revealing rather little of his private self. It is a pity as there are hints that the private person is at least as interesting as the performer. Sep 13, Lizzy Attwood rated it it was amazing.
This has been my favorite auto-biography so far. It's very open, and personal. He's very eloquent and it's so modest. You cannot help but love Dynamo more. His love for his family is inspiring as is his climb to success. You are forbidden not to have such great respect for him after reading this book.
Which adds to the magical allure and the hysteria which has been created since Dynamo really broke into the public eye. Fantastic book, so very positive and honest. Mar 23, Laura rated it really liked it.
I really liked this. I wasnt expecting it to be what it was and more about the magic side. It was about his life and growing up and how hard he found it, being bullied atc he also has chrones disease which is something I didnt know which was potentially life threatening for HIM he has a few things wrong, He is a lovely person, It was great. Dec 03, Amber Ashton rated it it was amazing. I absolutely love dynamo, hes such an amazing man and apparently can also write an amazing book!
The pictures gave it a fun and extra touch that made it all the more great. I am not normally a fan of autobiography but this defiantly made me change this opinion. Mar 20, Trevor rated it it was amazing. A well written autobiography of Dynano, the magician from Bradford! Dynamo, AKA Steven Frayne comes across as a humble guy from poor roots, genuinely grateful for the way his career has took off and panned out. It's a nice to read autobiography, none of this showing off lark that some end up being.
Seems a likable lad. Feb 25, Georgia Mclean rated it it was amazing. I have always seen Dynamo as an amazingly talented man! And this book made me love him even more! The jouney he has been on has not been the easiest at all, but I love how he has a positive look out at everything!
This is one of the best auto-biographies I've ever read! Its really a must read! May 23, Kieran rated it it was amazing. Jul 20, Grace Povey-West rated it it was amazing. I've always been a fan of Dynamo, I loved his tv show, so I brought the book on a whim whist out shopping one day, this book is incredible!
This man'a journey is inspiring, he's a great role model, I recommend this book for anyone who's looking for some inspiration. Dynamo you truly are incredible. Aug 24, David Rivett rated it really liked it.
An evocative insight into Dynamo one of today's great emerging celebrities. Nice to read and understand his background and the drivers he has to get him where he is today. Definitely an enjoyable and inspirational read. Oct 14, Elizabeth Hopkinson rated it it was amazing. Read this in an afternoon after queuing for several hours to meet Dynamo in Bradford.
An inspiration and a true Bradfordian! Jun 05, Michelle rated it it was amazing. When his late granddad showed him magic for the first time, Steven Frayne knew there was more to life than hiding from bullies.
He had a destiny. A calling. In that moment Dynamo was born: Since then, Dynamo has shocked, thrilled and amazed men, women and children from all walks of life, all over the world.
With his mind-blowing illusions, he has catalysed a whole new era of magic. Now, in his very first book, Dynamo invites you to join him on a breathtaking journey across the globe. Be prepared to levitate Lindsay Lohan in Singapore, transform snow into diamonds in the Austrian mountains and walk on water across the River Thames. Along the way, he reveals how to make the impossible possible, what it takes to pull off the greatest stunts man has ever seen, and why everyone needs magic in their lives.
This is no illusion. This is the real story of the awe-inspiring Dynamo. He grew up on the notorious Delph Hill housing estate, where he was raised by his mother while his father spent long periods in prison. At the same time, he was forced to battle a debilitating form of Crohns disease as well as playground bullies.
After being introduced to magic by his beloved granddad and receiving a loan from the Princes Trust, he carved out a career as one of the most respected magicians and illusionists in the world. His TV series Dynamo: Dynamo now lives in London where he continues to dream up even bigger and better illusions to prove to the world that really nothing is impossible.
Dedicated to the man who inspired all of the magic in this book, Kenneth Walsh With the Houses of Parliament lit up in front of me, and the doleful toll of Big Ben ringing in my ears, I could feel my stomach churning nervously. This was it. This was the moment Id been building up to for what seemed like the whole of my life. It all felt so surreal. Back home in Bradford, I knew the man who had got me here, Kenneth Walsh, my great-grandfather, or Gramps as I call him, would watch this; maybe even the kids who used to pick on me and push me around.
As I teetered on the edge of the riverbank, a crazy kaleidoscope of everything that had happened in the last twenty-eight years raced through my mind. As clichd as it may sound, my whole life flashed before me.
I thought of all the people who had told me Id never amount to anything; the tough times growing up on my estate; Gramps showing me magic for the first time; the teachers who sneered at my dreams of wanting to be a famous magician; the years working clubs around the country to make ends meet; shuffling my cards for hours in a hospital bed; impressing everyone from Prince Charles and Jay-Z to Will Smith and Chris Martin; the knock-backs that at one time threatened to derail my career; and the moment I was given the name Dynamo.
Since the age of twelve, magic had been my life. It was all Id thought about, all day, every day. Every waking hour and even in my dreams Id be conjuring up new ideas, new illusions, new ways to bring something special to the world. But never had I faced anything on the same scale as the challenge that lay before me now. I was about to walk across the River Thames. Taking a deep breath, I nervously lifted my right leg. As my foot touched the surface of the increasingly choppy water, I heard a loud gasp.
Above me, a crowd of people had gathered on the banks of the river and on Westminster Bridge. Shock, surprise and anticipation clouded their faces. I felt the water flowing beneath my feet, soaking through my trainers, sending shivers through my body. I could feel a strong wind gusting across the river, making my heart beat even faster.
I was doing it. I was standing on water. There was no turning back now. As the audience swelled from ten to 2, people, I tried to clear my mind. I had walked on water before at a swimming pool but never on a natural body of unpredictable water. The Thames is a different beast. It has incredibly strong, incalculable undercurrents and theres always a lot of traffic. Completely unpredictable.
One wrong move and I could be sucked under the murky water the kind of vanishing act I would never want to undertake. Over fifty people a year lose their lives to this almighty river, so I had to carefully judge each step as the waves rolled around me.
Until now, I hadnt understood the gravity of what I was attempting to do. Nevertheless, I could feel the excitement running through the crowd as more and more people gathered. The energy made my hair stand on end. The power from the spectators was keeping me up there, keeping me afloat. I looked across to the Houses of Parliament, a view I had admired many times, but not really looked at until today. These grand old buildings had seen so much history unfold but would also be witness to me, Steven Frayne from Delph Hill, trying to make his own mark on the world.
For my very first television series, I wanted to do something iconic. It was vital that I captured the hearts of the nation. I had one shot to communicate and connect with people fail, and I would be back in my hometown of Bradford, making ends meet with my street magic.
Succeed, and I would take a giant leap towards being among the great entertainers of our time. I knew that if I was to make my name in the competitive field of magic, then I had to do something huge. Until relatively recently, the idea of walking on the moon was as inconceivable as walking on water.
I wanted needed to prove that with hard work, determination and a little bit of magic, nothing was impossible. Id joked with my manager and close friend, Dan Albion, for years about walking across the Thames. I always said that if I ever got my own TV programme I would walk on water.
And now, what seemed like the impossible had happened. I had my own show and I had to live up to my word. I continued on. The water rippling under my soles. The crowd cheering. My knees knocking Normally, when Im nervous, I touch my tummy. But, given the importance of keeping my. I swallowed my fear, steadied my nerves and carried on.
Determination gripped every cell of my being and I took another step and another. And then I heard the roar of a speedboat engine and the flash of a blue light came into my peripheral vision It was my intention to walk the entire width of the Thames a mere I was in the zone at that point adrenalin was coursing through my system and I was intently focused on reaching the other side of the river.
So my memories are a blur of the actual moment I got picked up and dropped into the police boat. They put me on the floor and I could hear them asking me questions, but it wasnt computing. I was just so caught up in the moment that I had no idea what they were saying to me. What were you thinking? Are you all right? Luckily, theres no law against walking across the Thames and they let me go. I guess theyd never imagine a law was needed! They took me back to the riverbank.
I went home, texted my Gramps Ive just walked across the River Thames, it was amazing! It didnt hit me properly until a few days later and I started to see the coverage on the TV news and in the newspapers. On 25 June , I like to think that, in some way, I created history. Id done what Id set out to achieve. Id brought a feeling of wonder and amazement to the people.
Id proved the power magic has. For as long I can remember, all I have wanted to do is amaze people; to take away the stress of everyday life if only for a minute and show them something truly astonishing. Ultimately I had showed that you really can do something that is seen as impossible by others even if I had ruined a great pair of trainers in the process. Walking across the River Thames was one of the scariest things Ive ever done.
But sometimes youve got to go for your dreams, no matter what the risk. Its better to try and to fail than it is to fail to try. Ive gone from being an insecure kid growing up on the Delph Hill estate in Bradford to travelling around the world, meeting people from all walks of life, sharing the most wondrous thing I know: Now, I want you to join me on the ride. This book is about my life, sure, but its also more than that.
Its about how determination and hard work can change anyones life. I hope it will provide inspiration and that the lessons Ive learnt will help you on your lifes journey. For this reason, I havent written it in the usual chronological way Ive organised the chapters around places that have been important to me, and sometimes I will jump back and forward in time when a certain location brings back memories.
I like to keep it playful, keep you guessing, and to shuffle things around like a deck of cards just like I do in my magic. The world-renowned American magician and pickpocket Apollo Robbins once told me that the best magic isnt linear it doesnt follow straight lines. I can only agree, and I have been influenced by this idea in the writing of these chapters.
This book really is about proving to you that nothing is impossible. Its about showing that whatever. For me, magic has been my path maybe it could be yours too?
After all, everyone needs a little magic in their life. For a second, I almost gave in. Id been in that dustbin so many times it was almost my home away from home. The younger brother, lets call him Paul, and his older sibling, Ben, would pick me up, and as I struggled against their grip, they would force me inside. Thanks to my small frame, I was no match for the two of them. Then, once I was cowering inside the stinking plastic, theyd kick the bin and off Id go, tumbling down what we called The Tits.
They were two hills next to each other in the school grounds that were shaped like well, you can probably guess. Inside, Id feel every bump and pothole as I rattled around inside that bin, my pointy elbows banging into the sides, my ankles and knees twisting and turning.
But the worst pain was the fear I felt deep inside me. My chest would constrict so tightly, I could barely breathe, but that feeling was something I slowly became used to. I was rolled down those hills so often I could have mapped out every rock and stone. Being thrown down a hill in a rubbish bin wasnt a particularly pleasant experience. The bins always stank of old nappies and mouldy sandwiches and I would hear Paul and Bens jeers as they ran behind it. Careering down the hill towards school, everyone would laugh as the bin picked up speed.
A car or kerb would bring me to an abrupt halt. Dizzy and disorientated, Id crawl out, ashamed and embarrassed, new bruises joining my old ones. On that day, though, things were different. I didnt want to get in that stupid bin any more. I was fed up with being humiliated. As Paul towered over me, I made a decision. Pick me up then, I said to him. Without questioning, he put his hands under my armpits and lifted me off the ground with ease, as always.
Now put me down and Ill show you something. Go on, I pleaded, I want to show you something amazing. Reluctantly, he dropped me back on the pavement. Try again, I murmured, steadily fixing my eyes on his. This time, he couldnt move me. He tried and tried, grunting and sweating, but there was nothing he could do. He couldnt pick me up, no matter how hard he tried. I had taken away all of his strength. How did you do that? Show us, the brothers begged, exasperated. I just smiled, picked up my bag and walked down the hill to school.
I dont know where Paul and Ben are now. Last I heard, one of them was a nightclub bouncer and the other had apparently been murdered. Who knows? When youre from the kind of place Im from, not much is expected of you. If you grew up on the Delph Hill estate, more often than not you ended up on the dole or inside.
The only time people round my way got near royalty were when it was at Her. Majestys Pleasure.
Standing up to Paul and Ben that day would change my life forever. I might not have known it at the time, but over the coming years, millions of people would watch me perform the same magic as I had that day, aged twelve, when I finally beat the bullies. I came into the world very quickly; my mum arrived at Bradford Royal Infirmary at Ive been in a rush to get on with things ever since. I was born six weeks premature, so I had to go straight into an incubator for twelve hours to get warmed up.
I was super-tiny, just a couple of pounds, so they kept me in hospital for three weeks, until I weighed 4lb 15oz. Because I was so small my mum had to feed me non-stop, every hour or so. When I was finally allowed out of hospital, she brought me home to the modest maisonette where I would live for the first five years of my life. The flat only had three rooms, and it was winter so it was absolutely freezing.
Because I was so tiny and my mum was worried about me getting cold, shed have the heating on full blast and would wrap me head to toe in a blanket, coat, scarf, hat and mittens. My granddad still jokes that thats the reason Im so small my mum shrunk me when I was a baby!
Money was tight when I was a kid. I was the oldest of four; my sister Jessica and my two little brothers Troy and Lee came along later. But they dont have the same dad as me. While it was just me and Mum she would always do whatever she could to make sure I felt loved and cared for. When I was four, she said I could have a birthday party. I was so excited. I invited all of my school friends from Hill Top, the local primary school that was a short walk from where we lived in the Laisterdyke council flats, on the Delph Hill estate.
All Mum could afford for my birthday present was a six-pack of Kinder Eggs but she had scrimped and saved to create a wonderful birthday spread for me: On the day, I waited and waited by the front door, running into the living room to look out of the window, craning to see the arrival of my friends.
Minutes went by, then an hour, then two hours. No one came. Eventually, my mum gently told me that my friends werent coming. A couple of the mums had rung with feeble excuses, but the truth was, they were too scared to come to the estate. I cant blame the parents for not wanting to bring their kids to our flat. Hill Top was a nice school with nice middle-class children. The thought of visiting Delph Hill, with its tower blocks and hooded teenagers, was probably pretty scary.
I wasnt surprised to hear that the Laisterdyke flats were knocked down a few years ago. Even back in the eighties, they were rough and really run-down. I was so disappointed I can still feel that lump in my throat now. I half-heartedly ate my Kinder Eggs, taking the toys to bed with me.
I hated birthdays for years after that. Even now when I have a birthday or a launch party, I always worry that no one will turn up. He would remain inside, off and on, for the next fourteen years.
He did time for loads of different things: He was a small-time criminal. I remember very, very little about him because he was barely around for those first four years, and since he has come out of prison Ive only seen him once.
I dont even know his name. My mum and I rarely, if ever, speak about him. My granddad tells me that when my parents first got together, my dad used to come round to my granddads to see my mum. Hed arrive with loads of bikers Bradfords equivalent of the Hells Angels. My granddad said they were nice enough, quite polite despite their leather jackets and long hair, but hed never be able to get them out of the house. Theyd stay there all night. My dad wasnt a biker, but I think he hung out with them because they protected him in some way.
I dont know. Ive no idea what the truth is. I hear lots of different stories from lots of different people. To me, hes become a myth. I dont know the truth about him, and I dont really want to know. I had a lot of resentment towards him, particularly when I was a teenager.
I know he was in jail and that he couldnt be around at certain times, but he could have sent me a birthday card or a Christmas present.
No matter how small. On the few occasions he was out of jail for a month or two, I didnt see him because hed be up to his old tricks.
He very occasionally pops up now and then, but whenever he does try to come to find me, he asks for Dynamo, not Steven. I think that says a lot. People say that I look a lot like my dad. Im mixed race; my mum is white and my dad is Asian. Thats as much as I know, because Ive never met my dads family and they havent tried to get in touch since I was very young.
They wanted to take me away for a few days not long after my dad first went to prison, but my mum said no because she was worried that theyd never bring me back. Growing up in Bradford in the eighties and nineties was an interesting time.
I was quite an anomaly in many ways. Most estates in Bradford are very racially divided; you have Asian people in one place and white people in another. Being mixed race and living on a largely white estate had its challenges.
Mostly, though, I spent my childhood and teenage years on an estate called Delph Hill. I grew up with my mum, her mum and stepdad Nana Lynne and Granddad and my mums grandparents, my great-grandparents Nan and Gramps. Apart from my aunty and some cousins, that was the only family I had. Delph Hill is surrounded by countryside, so in theory, it could be a beautiful place. Back when I grew up, you didnt have to look too hard though to see the burnt-out cars, broken glass and dilapidated houses.
It was your typical low-rise estate; lots of terraced houses crammed together on a hill. It was much neglected. The estate is quite far from the city centre, so its hard to go anywhere. Its a long bus ride to get to the train station and the buses come when they feel like it. Once youre in Delph Hill, you rarely ever leave. Growing up there left me feeling very isolated.
I had the sense that real life was being lived far away from the patchy grass and streaky concrete that was my everyday view. Its been done up a lot since I was a kid. Nowadays, mostly older people live there, so its much safer. Theyve cleaned it up considerably.
Back then, though, Delph Hill was a tough place to grow up. There were a lot of kids running around, selling drugs, taking drugs, robbing and fighting. With packs of young gangs roaming around, it wasnt safe to walk about especially when youre a small kid with a young mum and no dad. It was safer to stay indoors because I was such an easy target.
I was born small and I stayed small. Because of my size, I was picked on, both on the estate and at school. Im hardly the biggest guy now, so you can imagine what I was like as a kid. Even though I was tiny for my age, I had no idea that something was medically wrong with me. I played football like the other kids, I went skateboarding, and I ran around the playground though that was mostly trying to escape from the bigger kids!
I was skinny and, no matter how much I ate, I found it hard to put on weight. Sometimes I would find blood in the toilet, but I thought all that was normal. My mum became concerned when I was thirteen. Until then, she assumed that Id have a growth spurt when I hit puberty, but as my friends shot up around me, I stayed the same size. My mum took me to the doctors and they started running a lot of tests there were tubes up and down my body, cameras in and out of every place imaginable, and all types of horrible things.
I had to have loads of barium meals, which are these rancid powdery drinks that help doctors see whats wrong inside of you. You cant eat anything the night before, so you can imagine how nice it is that the first thing you have to drink the next day is this disgusting, salty, acidic powder mixed with water. You have to do it, though the barium is radiopaque, which means that whatever is wrong inside shows up clearly on an X-ray. After weeks of tests, the doctors eventually told me I had Crohns Disease.
Id never heard of Crohns and I had no idea that it would mean a lifetime of discomfort, pain and, when it got really bad, lengthy hospital visits. Crohns is a form of inflammatory bowel disease. Its classed as a chronic illness because its very difficult to manage. The thing about Crohns is that its incurable.
Each person has different symptoms, which makes it hard to treat, and therefore, I presume, cure. The exact cause is also unknown. It could be genetic, it could be the immune system or it could be affected by environment. Its more commonly found in Europe than, say, Africa. Because it affects the stomach and digestive system, many sufferers of Crohns tend to be very small, which explained my size.
You cant eat certain foods and the food you can eat, you have trouble digesting. As it is an inflammation in the digestive system, it means pretty much every time you eat, there are complications. Eating can sometimes be an uncomfortable experience. Imagine youve got a big, deep cut on your arm or your leg. Whenever you eat, its like rubbing dirt into the wound. Having Crohns so Ive been told can be similar to what women experience once a month; cramps, discomfort, blood loss and mood swings.
Except its what I have every day. Im in pain all the time. I try to keep on top of it by not eating things that make it worse. Theres a lot of stuff I cant eat, like sesame seeds, the skin of vegetables, peanuts, sweetcorn and beans. I can eat carrots though; theyre good!
Popcorn, on the other hand, is not my friend. That put me in hospital for two weeks a couple of years ago. Sometimes I dont know if certain things are going to make me ill. So I could plan to do lots of things the next day, but I actually cant because Ill end up ill in bed. Im in a relationship now, but it used to be awkward taking girls out.
Id usually take them for some food and Id be eating and suddenly realise I needed the toilet. The worst time to go the toilet is when youre on a date with someone you dont know very well. Leaving her waiting for half an hour isnt the greatest look. My condition also means Ive also got weak bones.
Im anaemic which makes my teeth and bones brittle and my body aches a lot. It makes my eyes water sometimes. My back kills all the time. Im often very tired and I find it hard to sleep. I cant lie on my stomach because I have an operations scar there and I find it hard to sleep on my back, so I have to really tire myself out before I can fall asleep.
I wake up every morning in pain and I have to sit in a hot bath to try to loosen up my body. As a kid I found living with Crohns difficult. Not just because of the physical symptoms, but because it was another thing that made me an outsider. I was different. It made me small and I couldnt run as fast as the other kids easy prey for the bullies.
But as Ive grown older, Ive learnt how to manage it better, and more importantly I dont dwell on it. Ill never let it stop me doing anything I want to do. Medication used to help, but the ones that worked best also had the worst side effects. And the side effects werent worth it. I felt so drugged up when I was on them that I didnt feel like me. For that reason, I dont really drink alcohol and Ive never done drugs. I dont like not feeling myself. Of course, I wasnt the only kid on our estate with problems.
I wasnt the only one trying to control something uncontrollable. Life throws a lot of weird stuff at you some good, some bad, but as Ive grown older Ive realised you just have to find a way to carry on and do what you want to do.
No matter what it takes. And, after being diagnosed with Crohns, it wasnt long until I found my own secret to getting through those dark times. The school, like all comprehensives, was mixed ability, so you had all types of kids there. It wasnt particularly huge maybe pupils but it was pretty rough. Some kids would show up to lessons, some wouldnt. There would be a lot of smoking, and some kids used to bring in booze, others something stronger. Bullying was rife. It was the sort of place where you had to look after yourself.
You would never have gone to the teacher to tell them someone was picking on you. Initially I learnt, as a defence mechanism, that if I was willing to laugh at my own expense, then other people would laugh too. It was degrading, but I was just trying to fit in, trying to make friends by being what I thought was cool.
It was only years later that I realised people were humouring me and taking the mickey out of me most of the time. They werent laughing with me, they were laughing at me.
Guys like Paul and Ben would pretend to be my friends, but then theyd demand my dinner money. No dinner money, into the dustbin I went. So, to try to get out of trouble, I talked too much and I talked a lot of rubbish. Little Steven thought he was very cool but, looking back now, I probably wasnt as cool as I liked to think. The teachers didnt help much either; they didnt seem to understand. Shut up and sit down, Steven,. Keep on like that and youre straight for detention.
Some teachers dont know how to communicate with kids and then you totally lose their attention. In my opinion kids would take someone who they relate to, like a music artist much more seriously in the classroom than your average, out-of-touch teacher.
I wasnt brain of Britain, but I was perhaps quicker to grasp what was being taught than the other kids. It looked like I was acting out, but really my mind wasnt being challenged enough.
I knew I could do the work quickly so Id doss about, distracting the other kids and driving the teachers mad in the process. I tried being the class joker, I tried being top of the class, I tried being friends with the bullies, but nothing I did helped me to fit in. I was an awkward little boy; trapped between the gaps of all these different worlds. I was sat outside my mums house, trying to mend my broken skateboard.
Yeah, yeah, wait for me, I said excitedly, chucking aside my skateboard and running after them. Next to Delph Hill was another estate called Woodside, the two separated by a dam. Once a year, kids from the two estates would meet to have a fight.
All the local estate kids would pile in and try to beat each other up. Well, it was sort of like that. Usually, one side would get cold feet and run away and the other estate would be crowned the winner. Ordinarily, though, the dam was where the older kids from Delph Hill went to smoke, muck about and try to get off with girls. Being asked to go down there with them was a big deal.
Like anyone, I was desperate to fit in and be one of the cool kids. At that point, I was, or so I thought, friends with Paul and Ben. We got to the dam and within two minutes of us being there, Paul and his brother had picked me up.
I knew what was coming; it had happened before. The dam water was cold, murky and filthy dirty. As I flailed around, panic rising as I struggled for air, two hands gripped my shoulders and pulled me out. Coughing and choking, Ben threw me down on the muddy bank. All I could hear were the other kids laughing like it was the funniest thing theyd ever seen. I pretended not to care and tried to smile, relieved that they wouldnt see the tears on my already wet face.
Its only a joke, Steve, dont be a baby, theyd say. It wasnt very funny to me. I couldnt swim. Every time they did it, I was convinced I would die. The bullying started a lot earlier than I even realised at the time. It would be more psychological than physical; my friends would say or do something to make me look stupid theyd take the mick out of me and Id laugh along.
Because it was done under the guise of a joke mates mucking about, everyone having a laugh I couldnt see what was happening. But Paul and Ben were never thrown in. No one ever took their lunch money off them. Even when the bullying became more physical, I just thought it was normal.
If it wasnt me being chucked in the dam, then it was someone else. I wouldnt stop and help the other kid being bullied; Id just be relieved it wasnt me on that occasion. I thought it was normal because it happened to loads of kids all the time. But Paul and Ben werent my friends. They hadnt asked me to go down there to hang out.
They got me down there to chuck me in, make fun of me, to use me as a scapegoat. Its only when writing this book, that I realised my desire to walk on water came from that time. I always thought the River Thames was an idea that had randomly popped into my head, but I know now that as a little kid, soaking wet, freezing cold and scared stupid, I would have given anything to walk on water.
To be able to just glide across the surface and get away from them all. The seed was sown.
The likes of Paul and Ben couldnt get me there. Up in my room, Id watch as many films as I could. I became enveloped in a fantasy world of action heroes and futuristic metropolises.
It was huge in the eighties. To me, MacGyver was the ultimate action star. No matter what situation he was in, he always found a way out. He created something from nothing.
Just like a magician, in a way. He would take down a plane with just a hastily assembled slingshot, using a belt and an inflatable dinghy.
That ideology stuck with me as I got older. Now, you can take me to a slum in Rio and Ill pick up an old bit of wire and think of something to do. Take me to Miami and Ill make a girls tan line move from her wrist to her shoulder. Show me snow and Ill turn it into diamonds. MacGyver instilled in me a sense of improvisation; you dont need expensive props to make brilliant magic.
Back then, though, what MacGyver did for me was make me realise that you didnt just have to accept things the way there are. You can makes things happen out of thin air. MacGyver wasnt my only screen hero. I was very nave as a kid and, as ridiculous as it sounds, I believed that Superman was real.
I thought Gotham City really existed. It was an escape into a mysterious world where normal people could have magical powers. Id imagine what it would be like to be them; to be able to travel through time like Marty McFly and fly through the air faster than the speed of light like Superman.
In my mind, these people were real, so what they could do was a reality too. Even now I believe I can make those things happen. Who knows one day maybe I will move the moon like Superman did.
In all of my work, youll see the positive impression those films left on me it was watching Keanu Reeves in The Matrix and Spider-Mans skyscraper scaling that inspired me to perform levitations and walk down the Los Angeles Times Building. But there are no tricks with my magic! As a kid, though, I had no idea what bearing these superheroes would have on my life. All I knew was that they could make me happy and transport me out of my own little world of worry, but now their value to me is incomparable.
Those films taught me to never doubt your abilities. If you want to make something happen badly enough, then youll make it happen. I still watch films to inspire me now. Its an art that knows no boundaries, just like magic. Like lots of little kids, I had a passing interest when I was very young. I was given one of those generic magic sets for Christmas and Id mess about with the wands and cards, but it wasnt something I paid much attention to. But then one day Gramps gave me my first real glimpse of magic in real life.
Hed fought in the Second World War and had learnt a few things then that he used to entertain his army mates with. And, after the war, he was a pool hustler and could often be found in the local pub, taking people for their cash with one of his tricks.
Ill never forget when he first performed one of his classic moves on me. He took two different-sized shoelaces, then did some crazy move with his hands, and all of a suddenthe laces were exactly the same length.
As he waved them in front of my face, my mind whirred. It was the most amazing thing Id seen real magic in my own front room. Show me how to do that, Gramps, I begged, excitedly. He looked at me for a minute and then gave. Im not going to tell you how to do it, but Ill show you something else.
I didnt need to be told twice when he sent me off to the kitchen for two boxes of matches. What was Gramps going to show me next? When I returned, Gramps painted the tips of the matches and the boxes one set green and the other set red. Then, he put the green matches in the red box and vice versa and asked me to hold them. Shake them up, he said and I did, as hard as my little hands would allow me. The matches rattled away inside, while my heart pounded with anticipation.
Now open them, Gramps beamed, his eyes wide. Tentatively, I push the little boxes open and when I did I nearly dropped them. My breath caught as I looked down at them. Somehow the green matches were in the green box and red matches in the red box. I was absolutely stunned. Miraculously, the matches had invisibly travelled through the air, without me seeing, and had switched boxes. I was blown away. Just like all good magicians, Gramps never gave me an explanation.
It was simply magic. Of course, I can make that happen myself now. But that day it was like Id fallen under a spell. Over the next couple of years, my interest in magic grew, and then when I turned twelve it really took hold of me.
Grampss army days meant he had seen a lot of life. He was a wise man. I never told him that I was being bullied, he just knew. Hed meet me after school sometimes and I reckon he saw things happening for a long time, but wanted to make sure before he stepped in.
He was like Mr Miyagi and I was his Grasshopper! One night, not long after my twelfth birthday, Gramps showed me the ultimate way to take on the bullies. Id been rolled down the hill for the hundredth time, and my head was hanging so far down it almost touched my toes as I shuffled home.
Id been crying not because the boys had hurt me but because I felt so humiliated. Nana and Gramps were at our house and I went straight to my room, as always. When my mum called me down for tea, I sat there, quietly, eating. I didnt say anything to. Gramps, but he could just tell. After tea, he came up to my room. You know how to win a fight, dont you, Steven? I looked up hesitantly, shaking my head very slightly. All right, come here and Ill show you something. Gramps didnt give me a master class in boxing.
He did something much better than that. This time, rather than showing me magic with laces and matchboxes, he demonstrated how to, literally, take away someones strength.
By the end of my lesson Gramps was unable to pick me up his slight, twelve-year-old grandson. It was the most empowering feeling Ive ever had. I still use the technique today on the first series of Dynamo: Magician Impossible, I asked world champion heavyweight boxer David Haye to pick me up and after Id taken his strength away not even he could do it. Im eight stone max at my heaviest! He looked very confused. A couple of days later, I saw Paul and Ben and the life-changing moment I described earlier took place.
I drained them of their strength. It was the last time they ever rolled me down a hill or threw me into the dam. The look on their faces was an absolute picture. Their jaws dropped and they backed away nervously. Id found the most powerful way to overcome them through the power of my mind.
Not long after, I recalled the magic Gramps had shown me with the matchboxes. Id worked it out by myself and shown it to my mum and my cousins, but not to anyone at school. I reached a stage where I could practically do it with my eyes shut, but hadnt found my moment.
Then one day, I saw my chance. Hey everyone, watch this, I said to the kids as they milled around their desks, waiting for the teacher to arrive. By now, word had got round about what Id done to Paul and Ben. My classmates thought I was a bit weird, and that I had some kind of strange power, so they had steered clear of me ever since.
Eventually, though, curiosity getting the better of them, they slowly gathered round. Its probably a load of rubbish, muttered one. I traced Grampss move and showed everyone how the green matches were in the red box and the red matches were in the red box, then I closed them and asked one of the kids to shake them.
Then pow in a flash the matches had swapped over Wow! Show us again. The rest of them all stood open-mouthed; some were laughing, some shouting in amazement or shaking their heads. I dont know what the best bit was: It seemed the magic gave me the edge Id been craving. As I drank in the scene, it was almost as magical as the matchboxes around me stood boys and girls of all different colours and backgrounds.
Usually, the Asian kids kept to themselves while the white kids always stuck together and black kids would drift between the two groups. It was the same when we were all back home on the estate too.
But in this moment, magic seemed to have broken down the divide. Slowly, my eyes were opening magic had powers far beyond those you could see. From that moment, I immersed myself in magic. I read every book I could get my hands on and practised and practised, day after day and night after night.
Magic literally became my world some might say an obsession. I sat in and practised magic for hours on end with Gramps helping me and encouraging me along the way. Id spend hours just shuffling cards alone, trying to figure out new ways of moving them around. Hours turned into months, months into years.
I was told recently about. Malcolm Gladwells 10, hours theory that all experts have practised for at least 10, hours to master their chosen field, be that Beethoven, Michael Jackson, Picasso or Steve Jobs.
I laughed when I heard that; I reckon Ive spent at least ten times that practising my magic. It might have scared the kids at school, but as I got older and went to college, my magic instantly won me friends. I chose to go to the Batley School of Art and Design in Bradford, which wasnt the typical college that you went to if you had gone to my school. Not only was it a creative college, but you had to take two buses to get there from where I lived. But I didnt care about the journey.
It was a fresh start for me; no one knew who I was and no one knew I had been bullied before. The first day I got there, someone asked me what I was into, and I said, I like doing magic. I did some, and they loved it and they accepted me.
I felt like I could be myself. When I told them about my Crohns they just said, Oh, that sucks, and that was that. They didnt act like I was some alien out of space. They were much more mature about it. I found that people wanted to hang round with me, watch me perform with my cards.
It created an immediate connection. Magic was my way of bringing people together. That first time when I took away Paul and Bens strength, thanks to Gramps, my whole life changed and I knew my lifes focus would be magic. It wasnt the idea of fame or money attracting me back then far from it. It was simply that the most wonderful feeling rose up inside me whenever I showed someone magic; it made people happy.
Ill never, ever get bored of watching peoples faces when they witness something astonishing. Every now and then my friends or my girlfriend will suddenly, out of nowhere, announce that theyve figured out how I do a certain piece of magic. The funny thing is its always something random. I havent done magic like my shoelaces tying themselves since But just recently, one of my oldest mates came up and said, Ive worked it out! The thought of people sitting around talking about how I walked on water blows my mind.
There are so many elements involved in every single thing I do. The average person doesnt understand all of the technical intricacies that go into one piece of magic.